Bush's economic stimulus package; What will you get back?

By Paul Michael on 30 January 2008 133 comments
Photo: Phillip

As you’re no doubt aware, President Bush has created an economic stimulus package in the hopes of stalling the impending recession (or if you believe some, depression) that’s on the horizon. It’s not approved yet, but it has already passed its first major hurdle – The House Of Representatives approved the $146 billion dollar deal. Want to know how much you'll get?

The chamber – by an overwhelming majority of 385 to 35 – approved sending tax rebate checks of up to $600 per person and $1,200 per married couple, plus an additional $300 for each child.

The checks could be in the mail as early as May. But what does this mean for you? I mean, that’s some fairly vague information. I hate the words “up to” because if I give you “up to $10” I could in fact give you a dime and not be lying.

I did some digging around the news sites, the BBC, government blogs and so forth and have put together a quick check-list of what you will most likely get back. It’s not concrete as the bill hasn’t been through the entire system yet.

In essence, the stimulus package removes the 10% tax bracket currently in place. Of course, if it were that simple we’d all be a lot happier. There are phase-outs baked into the plan that start deducting from your rebate check. But to be honest, the people that will affect most won’t really care as they’re already earning a very healthy sum of money.

The system works in two stages. First, you figure out just how much you can get back. Then, you calculate the benefit reductions based on salary.

First, let’s see what singles could get back.

Earnings                                         Rebate

$3,000 or less                                A big fat zero.
$3,000 or more, paid no taxes       $300.
$3,000 or more, paid taxes            $600.
Have children?                               $300 per child

Now, the reductions.
It’s fairly simple math. Once you earn over $75,000, your check is reduced by 5% per $1000 above the $75k threshold. After $87k, you get nothing. Here are some rough examples.

Single person earning $50k a year with 2 children = $1200
Single person earning $80k a year with 1 child = $675 ($900 - $225)
Single person earning $90k a year with no children = $0

Couples get the same treatment, only everything is doubled to take into account the two people in the household:

Earnings                                         Rebate

$3,000 or less                                A big fat zero.
$3,000 or more, paid no taxes       $600.
$3,000 or more, paid taxes            $1200.
Have children?                               $300 per child

 

And the reductions.
Once again, simple math. Once couples earn over $150k, the check is reduced by 5% per $1000 above the $150k threshold. After $174k, you get nothing.

I found these further examples, all based on the 2007 filing period.

A couple with no children, with adjusted gross income of $100,000:
$1,200 couples rebate. A $1,200 rebate.

A couple with income of $145,000, with three children:
$1,200 for the couple, plus $300 for each child. A $2,100 rebate.

A couple with income of $160,000 with two children:
$1,200 for the couple plus $300 per child — BUT would go down by 50 percent (5% for every $1000 over the $150 threshold). A $900 rebate.

A couple with income of $200,000 and four children:
Disqualified, income exceeded $174,000. No rebate.

There are other aspects to the bill that I’m not covering here, including mortgage relief. But there is another important message here. The government wants you to SPEND THIS REBATE.

It’s a stimulus package, and thus they want the money to go straight back into the cash registers of businesses far and wide. The problem I see with that is that in a time of record debt and no savings, how fiscally responsible is it of the government to tell us to spend our rebate? Isn’t over-spending the reason we got into this mess anyway? I’m sure economists out there will set me straight.

Still, there you have it. A touch more clarification, I hope it helps.

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Guest's picture
Andrew

I made 6000 while I was in college working for a restaurant and corporate coffee shop. I am currently 21 and would as all other college students like a rebate. I worked hard for the money. My parents pay over half of their income to the government because they worked so hard but get discounts on claiming me dependent. Mind you I pay for college through scholarships and work. They agreed to give me my rebate, since they get way more than 600$ in benefit from me.

I recommend talking to the fair parents who are really getting a nice deal on having us. On the other hand though, the benefits of having them as parents is certainly worth way more than 600$. I really wanted this benefit to help with credit card debt.

Anyway for other college students consider asking parents for a piece of their benefit.

Guest's picture
Dumb Country Boy

The government doesn't have any money to send everyone $300+. If they had money, they wouldn't be taxing us this april 15th. We are in such a great national debt, and our federal reserve just prints more money to cover social programs, medicaid, the war, etc. So this $150+ billion that is being sent out to "stimulate our economy" will be a $150+ billion added to the money supply. All that does is inflate the currency... you know make the dollar worth less Euros, make the dollar worth less gasoline, make the dollar worth less bread, eggs, and other food. That is why the cost of everything is going up right now, inflation of the dollar.

If any of you have retirement saving or investments... keep this in mind, b/c everytime the FED prints more money, your savings lose value b/c the money you saved will now buy less.

This plan may help keep us from going into recession for a short period of time. But it is avoiding the REAL PROBLEM, the Federal Reserve is weakening our economy by overprinting money. In the end we will have to face this problem. The stimulus package only delays the recession, but it is no real solution.

Fiscal Responsibility in washington, and a sound currency are the answers. Of course that would be a LONG TERM solution and not a quick fix. Bush only needs a quick fix since he is on the way out.

Guest's picture
Guest

I am so sick of the cry babies who make 70k+ I don't want to hear about how you are Po' (poor) That's crap and you know it! Some people need this money, and do not think it's a bad idea. Maybe to catch up on a bill, or to shop (so what) why do you care anyways. You make enough money to pay your bills.
Now I see why I hate those that make tons of money each year. They play poor, lets have a pity party for Joe Schmoo who makes 70k per year, he has bills too

Guest's picture
Guest

I know that a bunch of people have received letters in the mail letting them know that they will get a refund. I've lived at the same address for 4 years, and have filed taxes the last 4 years. I'm legally married, but separated, and we filed seperatly. And neither of us got letters. Why?

Guest's picture
Upset College Student

I feel that this situation is completely unfair because the government is excluding tax-paying college students from receiving this rebate. As for me, I have been a full-time student since 2004 and have also had to work since age 16 or earlier. In 2007, my adjust gross income was about $16,000 (mostly from working construction over the summer months) but I am still claimed on my parents tax form as a dependent because they can deduct tuition expenses. Why do I not receive this stimulus package? I payed taxes, I made over the $3000 requirement, and I am an American Citizen. So if being claimed as a dependent means you don't get a stimulus check, why don't my parents get the refund for me? I would like to see how many people fit into this same category that I fall into. Let's be heard and show the IRS that they made a mistake when they wrote these requirements. Email me and tell me your feelings amfiorentini@hotmail.com There will soon be a facebook group and a webpage where you can join the cause.

Guest's picture
Guest

Have you gotten a webpage up? Really I think if the young people become poitically proactive as a group this wrong can be righted.

As a former college instructor and current parent to college students I think this wayof handling the stimulus does a grave injustice to quite possibly the hardest working "group" of Americans!

I would urge all taxpaying college students to write or better yet call (usually more effective than writing)their senators and representatives

Guest's picture

A facebook group has been created to gather and impower the millions of people forgotten by the government. This group is named "Not Getting An Economic Simulus Check?" and is open to everyone. I think the link at the bottom of this message should get you to the groups page. We encourage everyone to join and take a stand. Let it be heard that the Gov't has forgotten a very large and powerful group of people.

http://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=22919780&k=ZZFY45WSQYXM51AAVBX4W3

Guest's picture
Guestwhat if i own

Do I still get a stimulus check if I own back taxes? or even taxes for last year? I filled late and sent everything the other day will I still get a check.
mag

Guest's picture
linda

my son is 17 years old no 300 for him but i still got to support him and claim him on taxes how unfair.
im a single mom dads in jail likes little girls but he still lives better than us he at least gets three meals a day doesnt have any bills, no child support to pay.
how fair is this country getting maybe we should rename little russia!

Guest's picture
Scott

Can anyone direct me to where I can have my rebate check mailed if my old address (a PO Box) was canceled? My new address is not able to be updated with the post office, because I let the P.O Box lapse. Now all my mail is being returned, including my soon-to-come rebate check.

The last think I need is to have my check returned to the gov't, because they'll likely never give it up again.

Is there some sort of website where I can register my new address for any government document?

Thanks for the feedback

Scott

Guest's picture
chris gomes

Call the social security office where yoy mailed your taxes, and give them change of address. You can find phone numbers on line

Guest's picture
pATTI

I made 8000 last yr as a Elder Care Worker. I filed my taxes electronically. I never received letter saying I was getting Stimulas Check. Does that mean I am not eligible? I did receive a tax return in February. I filed single , 57 no dependants. Thank you.

Guest's picture
Emmes_Mommy

Based on the irs website we should be getting $1500.00 (2 adults, and 1 child.) But I just checked our payment status on irs.gov and this is what it said...

Your total Stimulus payment was calculated as $1,238.00 and consists of the following:

Basic Amount: $938.00.
Qualifying Child Amount: $300.00 (Based on 1 qualifying children).

Your payment of $868.60 is scheduled to be mailed on May 16, 2008. If you do not receive the check by June 13, 2008, please contact us again. For information about how to file a claim because you have not received your check, or it was lost, stolen, or destroyed, please continue.

Your Stimulus payment was reduced based on your 2007 qualifying income, or it was limited to the amount of your 2007 Net Income Tax Liability.

What does the bold text mean?

I'm a stay at home mom and made no income in 2007, but my husband earned $35,000.00. We were to get $2100.00 back from the IRS, but since we owed $2,000.00 from 2004, they kept it. I'm so frustrated being on hold for hours on end to get a simple question answered. Any insight guys?

Thanks!

Guest's picture
Guest

After reading all of the comments, I have learned that neither of my college student childrent will be receiving a check. Both work jobs during the year, pay taxes but are over 17 and are claimed as dependents. I do not qualify to receive a check because of the salary limits. That's OK. I have been blessed. But my children could really use the money to help offset some of their college expenses. I feel that the Bush administration was in such a rush to get this program out there that there is a segment of society that will not get anything and could really use the rebate. I hope that once the dust settles, and it becomes apparent who did not qualify receive a check that a second "stimulus package" will be initiated that will include college students over 17 but still claimed as dependents on their parents taxes.

Guest's picture
Kat

Hi, I am single with one child. I filed taxes with earnings of 28K and didn't have to pay any taxes to IRS. I only got $600 back for the stimulus check. Aren't I also supposed to get $300 for my child?

Guest's picture
Angela

Since you did not have to pay any taxes at all, you only received $300 for yourself and $300 for your child.

Guest's picture
Guest

My husband and I are full-time students. He also works 50+ hours a weeks...I work part-time. We made a combined total of $43,000 last year. We only got $600 back- and we filed our taxes jointly. They said that because of our income, our rebate was reduced....I don't understand!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm wondering..Both my sister & I are married with children. We all work & we both have 3 children each.

Why did she only receive 1,800 back?

and I received $2,100?

Guest's picture
Guest

I didnt work in 2006 but i worked in 2007. To my understanding you get $300 with no limit, why did I not receive a check?

Guest's picture
Guest

IM SORRY $300 WITH A CHILD IS NO LIMIT

Guest's picture
Emmes_Mommy

Based on the irs website we should be getting $1500.00 (2 adults, and 1 child.) But I just checked our payment status on irs.gov and this is what it said...

Your total Stimulus payment was calculated as $1,238.00 and consists of the following:

Basic Amount: $938.00.
Qualifying Child Amount: $300.00 (Based on 1 qualifying children).

Your payment of $868.60 is scheduled to be mailed on May 16, 2008. If you do not receive the check by June 13, 2008, please contact us again. For information about how to file a claim because you have not received your check, or it was lost, stolen, or destroyed, please continue.

Your Stimulus payment was reduced based on your 2007 qualifying income, or it was limited to the amount of your 2007 Net Income Tax Liability.

What does the bold text mean?

I'm a stay at home mom and made no income in 2007, but my husband earned $35,000.00. We were to get $2100.00 back from the IRS, but since we owed $2,000.00 from 2004, they kept it. I'm so frustrated being on hold for hours on end to get a simple question answered. Any insight guys?

Thanks!

Seems like a lot of people aren't getting what they were promised!

Guest's picture
CA Guests

We are self-employed. Married and filed jointly with AGI of $18,000. Paying no tax but SE tax of $1,276. Will we receive the check of $600 or $1,200?

Guest's picture
You must be kidding

I just found out that because I put in my wife's married name and not her maiden name (could not change it with Social Security Administration due to visa issues) that we won't be getting anything. Even though I called to correct it for my federal refund, the stimulus check is based off your original return and not your corrected return.

Guest's picture
Guest

if i made about 75k combined in a married couple with two kids under 18 how much will i get back?

Guest's picture
Guest

I really do not understand the plan, so only some people will get money depending on their income?

Guest's picture
jackbrown05

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Guest's picture
santiago9767

Why not you take a look at easystockalerts.com with lots information and updates? You can get all recent news and information relating to the stock you follow from this site. Site also monitors some of the top financial blogs for opinions on your stocks. It’s not a spam, just very useful, actionable investment ideas. So make money now and sign up for easystockalerts.com

Guest's picture
Guest

My husband made $16,580. last yr and I didn't work at all so how much will we get back on these stimulus checks? If I'm not mistaken it will be $1200. I sure hope so.

Guest's picture
katy

we have all received our stmulus checks a while back. my question is... will the amount of our checks effect in any way the amount of our tax refund checks (when I go to file in february). my stimulus check was for $900.00, so will my tax refund be for 900.00 less? I always budget out my tax refund, cause i usually know the general amount i will be getting back. but because i do not know if the stimulus checks are going to effect my tax refund i do not know what to budget for. so.can you please tell me if the stimulus checks are going to be deducted from our tax refunds?
thankyou,
katy

Guest's picture
amanda

My husband and I seperated in Jan. 2008, right before he came home from Iraq. Then in April of 2008 we were leagally seperated. He hasn't paid child support for almost 5 months. He has not been ordered to. But since we were married in 2007, will he have to send me money from the stimulus check for our two little girls? I am a single mom and cannot file taxes. I have no income. Our divorce should be final in about 2 weeks now. Any help would be nice, or even advice!

Guest's picture
eddie

Ok, its tax time, when everyone was getting their check, I never received mine, I inquired with what information I could gather up, but I never got a answer! Dateline came and gone, I was helpless on the matter, every asked question about who to turn to if one did not receive a check came to a dead end. Now my question is this, will I have to file that I never received a check, if someone out there took mine and cashed it, wouldn't the government know this? Where exactly do I stand?

Guest's picture
james Culler

for a business expansion. Can you get one for me?

Please, help me get a mental Disability Handicapped Grant to expand my business so that me and my wife to live together and help other people with disabilities. If you can't help me; then, forward this request to source that will help me find a mental handicapped loan to expand my business for me. Please read the following: I can't expand my business because I have Tourettte Syndrome who was fired from teaching 7 out of 9 school districts abusing students mentally and physically. I'm a 70-year-old male with a mental disability of a Tourette Syndrome disorder. .... I would like to get grant money to help me expand my business since I can't work or be around people in public or private. Please contact me about this: 909-336-0472 or email jimculler@verizon.net More infor about me and applying for grants: I have a rare mental disability: Tourette Syndrome. It's a disability that doesn't allow me to function in society. I applied to 99 federal agencies on grant applications of which they don't give grants to individuals because of the scams telling people that they can get a grant for them just by sending $1.95 and they will will send a CD telling how to processed a grant; then, will charge up $99 every month on your credit card.

Here two unique things that separate myself from other individuals getting a grant.......
1. Senior Citizen relating to helping older people. 2. 20 years experience of marketing needs of individuals in life. 3. Compiled and edited a "Manifesto of Life" that has over 1000 affirmations of getting what you want in life documented by Bible verses. 4. 30 years of teaching experience. 5. Seeing objectives and goals through.

Here, are (5) examples of replies saying that about my application for a grant...

(1) Your application and proposal have been reviewed and has been determined
not to meet the requirements of this Grant opportunity. We were seeking a
cooperative agreement with a local entity which would work closely with the
BLM to provide maintenance of existing campsites, trail improvement, kiosk
repair, eradication of non-native invasive species, and other restoration
activities along the Molalla Corridor, allowing the targeted participants
in Clackamas County, Oregon, a mix of work experience, natural resource
education, citizenship values and skills in service to their community,
not for a comprehensive approach of reaching out to individuals who are
experiencing hardship during these economical times. The funds are
intended for support of community crews working in the natural resource
environment rather than in workshops and seminars do not qualify you for grant.
Again, thank-you for your interest.

(2) The grant opportunity was for a single source entity. It has very specific qualifications on who can apply for the grant, one of them being for salmon and Steelhead facilities located in the Snake River basin to compensate for the lower Snake River fish losses in the state of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. The grant opportunity also listed the facilities that could receive the funds. Your organization did not qualify.

(3) We appreciate the effort you have put forward in your application but regret to inform you
you do not meet the minimum requirements; specially a state agency, territorial
government, or tribal organization community. We wish you the best in your search for
funding and incite to apply for future opportunities.

(4) The grant opportunity was for a single source entity. It has very specific qualifications on
who can apply for a grant, one of them being for salmon and Steelhead located in the Snake River basin..... Th grant opportunity opportunity also listed the facilities that could
receive the funds. Your organization did not qualify.

(5) Thank-you for your recent submission of the project entitled "Manifesto of Life" to the
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mountain-Prairie region Migratory Bird Management
Program........
Unfortunately we are not able to fund your project at this time for the following reason:
X Your project does not fit within our current highest regional and/or national
priorities.
Another good example of a scam:
#1 Government Funded Grants Professional Review - NEW!
Click Here To Visit The Site:
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(The above 6 examples are incomplete letters to myself and the personal signatures and names were left out for protection. If you need t see the full letters of rejection, the letters are on file for review for documentation.)

In cooperation for reply,

James L. Culler
909-336-0472
Mailing address: Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352-2486
Email: jimculler@verizon.net

Guest's picture

The grant ads have been around forever. I guess they are getting worse because people are writing about stimulus checks and grants. It’s sad because the people that actually click on them are usually the people who can least afford it.